Essential Oils & Sinus Problems

9:34 AM Posted by jo

Having sinus problems is very painful. I remember the first time I had a sinus infection, it was when my oldest son started  daycare in Sweden when he was a year and a half. Unfortunately I didn't know anything about essential oils at that time. Over the years I have used essential oils successfully for sinus problems in our house. We have also changed the diet since then. I also learned from Steven Horne, the Herbalist, how to activate the healing when I feel a cold coming. So it doesn't happen very often that my family suffer from sinus problems anymore. 

To activate healing
To activate the healing you need to give the body an energy boost to help it push the irritants out of the system. Herbs with pungent taste, such as capsicum, horseradish, ginger etc help generate wei qi energy. When you eat spicy food your eyes water, your mucus clear from your throat and lung, your nose runs and you start to perspire. You see, pungent herbs activate the energy that helps the body discharge whatever it is irritating it. So make them your best friends during a cold. As soon as you feel a cold coming on, stop eating, start drinking lots of fluid and start taking some of these pungent herbs. 

Other tips

  • Check for inhalant or food intolerants.
  • Poor bowel function may be the cause.
  • Battaglia suggests to increase garlic, onion and ginger. 
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet.
  • Avoid dairy.
  • Battaglia also suggests to make a sinus soup:  vegetarian minestrone with added horseradish, hot peppers, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Battaglia also suggests to use vitamin C to increase immunity against infection and to reduce mucus. He also suggests to add vitamin A since it increases the health of the epithelial tissue lining of the sinuses. 

My favorites essential oils  I've used for sinus problems
I have used different oils over the years, but one of my favorite is a Respiratory blend.  I have also used an Antimicrobial oil  successfully too. My son cleared his painful sinus congestion with a Pain Relieving blend  within a day. I also like to use frankincense, especially if I don't have any of my  favorite oil blends at home.

The Respirator blend contains the following oils:
Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, myrtus communis oil, pinus sylvestris (pine) leaf oil, origanum majorana (marjoram) leaf oil, eucalyptus radiata leaf oil, eucalyptus citriodora leaf oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, cupressus sempervirens oil, tsuga canadensis leaf oil, and mentha piperita (peppermint) oil.

The Antimicrobial blend contains the following oils:
Clove† (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon† (Citrus limon), cinnamon† (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata† and rosemary† (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).

The Pain Relieving blend contains the following oils:
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and peppermint (Mentha piperita).

Some single oils I've used in the past
Peppermint, helichrysum, thyme linalol, rosemary, marjoram, pine, eucalyptus, ravensara, myrtle and ginger. These oils have also historically been used for sinus problems.

How I use essential oils for sinus problems

  • I like to use steam inhalations for sinus problems and it is really powerful. For steam inhalations I add a few drops of oil to hot but not boiling water and inhale. Most of the times I drape a towel over my head to increase the intensity. I bought an electric facial steamer and it works great for upper respiratory problems. 
  • I also like to rub the oils on each side of the nose and over the sinus areas. It depends on the oil, some I may apply neat and others I mix with massage oil. I like to mix essential oils with some massage oil and put in a roll-on bottle,  I use it frequently on my sinus areas throughout the day. This is great when I have to leave the house. 
  • I've also put oils on the sinus Vita Flex points on bottom of the feet, this is especially handy when dealing with stronger oils or when using oils on children. Some oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus should not be applied on the facial areas of small children.
  • I also diffuse appropriate oils in my diffusers.
  • For a quick relief I may inhale straight from the bottle. I plug on side of the nose and inhale deeply and then I switch side. 
  • I may also apply  a couple of drops of oil on the inside of my hands, rub them together, and cup them over my nose and inhale deeply. 
  • I've also used hot compresses over the sinus areas. (See at the bottom of page for how to make a compress)

Why I prefer to use blends
I prefer to use essential oil blends when possible since it will enhance the synergy between the oils, synergy is based on the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of the part. Essential oils with similar constituents can enhance activity. For example, research has shown a greater antimicrobial activity when oils were combined. Therefore, I like to mix several different oils into on blend for enhanced therapeutic value, and most of the times it is more economical for me to buy already blended oils.

How to make a compress

Place 5-15 drops of essential oils into a basin filled with warm water.
Agitate the water vigorously and let it stand for one minute. 
Place a dry cloth on top of the water to soak up the oils that float on the surface. Wring out the cloth and apply on the body. 

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. Also, Read this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

Photo credit

Connie and Alan Higley, (Twelfth Edition, revised 2010). Reference Guide for Essential Oils. Abundant Health
Gary Young, ND (2006). Essential Oils, Integrative Medical Guide. Essential Science Publishing
Salvatore Battaglia (1995). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion Pty Ltd

This post is linked to:
Titus 2 TuesdaysDomestically Divine, The Gathering SpotHealthy Tuesday Hop, Tuesday Greens, Waste Not Want Not WednesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayWFMWThe Mommy Club, Encourage One AnotherAdorn from AboveWildcrafting WednesdayHomemaking Link UPSimple Lives ThursdayNatural Living Link UpThe Homeacre Hop, Hearts for Home Link UpSmall Footprint FamilySunday School Blog Carnival, Mop It Up MondayThe Better Mom Mondays Link UpNatural Living MondayThank Goodness It's Monday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Mama Moments Monday
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes